Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Treebeats Shitty Reviews Of Not Shitty Artists Presents: A King E & PSY/OPSogist Extravaganza!!!

Alright, sorry, sorry, sorry. I’ve been trying to get this other thing going which was recently hacked and instead of working on it I decided to end the neglect with some super dope exclusive(ish) material for you and yours. Both are instrumental. 1 is straight up hip hop in the best sense of the word and the other is hip hop on pharmacy-grade hallucinogenic (think Ninja Tune that is not totally avant-arde and ridiculous).

First up we have my man King E’s, “Heart Beats” project. Those of you unfamiliar with him should check his MySpace out. El Rey's been making beats for the past 8 years in one of the most relevant and dyanmic cities in the history of Hip Hop, Pittsburg. Just consider it further data to confirm Rakim Allah’s statement, “it ain’t where you from!” All the beats are strictly sample based. The King is not a fan of synths. Not a fan of using them. Not a fan of anyone that does use them and will fight you to the death using only the box of his purchased copy of Fruity Loops and a loaded AK if he finds out you do. While his sound can easily be compared to 9th Wonder, there are a lot of cats that sound like 9th Wonder, but the difference is he does what he does well. Beats and samples get flipped like a Triple Lindy and really well structured and well put together. It’s not easy to do an interesting or refreshing take on Ayer’s “Sunshine” and he does. I also like the work he did with Minnie Ripperton's “Lovin' You” I reference the two most common sources because they are two most common sources but they still sound interesting. He included the following blurb with the songs, “This is an instrumental album that I put together with the valentines theme in mind. I feel it’s some of (if not) my best work to date. I really hope you take the time to listen to it. And please listen to it with someone you love, that’s why I made it.” Aww. He'll kill your ass too so don't get it twisted, he just is in love with love. This is only the first act and next year it will have M.C.’s and possibly other vocalists over the beats presented here. Aww shit son.

01 - Holla
02 - Complete With You
03 - Incredible Feelings
04 - Loving You
05 - Heres a Kiss
06 - The Wedding Song (You My Queen)
07 - Sunshine Of My Life
08 - Baby
09 - I Love You
10 - I Wish I Could Kiss You
11 - You Shine
12 - Baby Makin Music
13 - How Much Do I Love You
14 - Golden Feelings
15 - I Need Your Love (Not actually part of the Heart Beats project, consider it a bonus track cause I got you like that nahmean!)

You lucky bitches also get his sample set to download as well. So grab it and steal the new FL and pretend like you got skills too. And Fail.

01 - Ray Charles - She's Funny That Way (Holla)
02 - Grant Green - We've Only Just Begun (Complete With You)
03 - Ronnie Laws - Night Breeze (Incredible Feelings)
04 - Minnie Riperton - Loving You (Loving You)
05 - Ronnie Laws - Momma (Here's A Kiss)
06 - Roy Ayers - Take All The Time You Need (Wedding Song)
07 - Roy Ayers - Everbody Loves The Sunshine (Sunshine Of My Life)
08 - Ronnie Laws - Living Love (Baby)
09 - Les Mccann - Changing Seasons (I Love You)
10 - Barbara And Ernie - For You (I Wish I Could Kiss You)
11 - Sylvia St. James - So I Say To You (You Shine)
12 - Sade - Sweetest Taboo (Baby Makin Music)
13 - Ray Charles - How Deep Is The Ocean (How Much Do I Love You)
14 - Stevie Wonder - Golden Lady (Golden Feelings)

Secondly, we have PSY/OPSogist’s (pronounced [sigh-ops-oh-jist]) offering entitled “Suffused With Static.” I really am not sure where to start with this dude. If we are talking genres, I’d just stick him in Electronica, simply because he uses electricity to make music and not because it is techno or trance or any of that hippy music. If I was to peg his style it would be fucking ill. Psy (which he will be refered to as from now on because I don’t actually like to type) twists the shit out of beats till juices run down legs and snares and kicks get distorted and panned like Greek mythology. I’m a big fan of delays and fucked up vocal samples getting tweaked and slowed down. Psy does this. Another thing he does really well is take shit that you kind of think would not work together and somehow make it gel. Some people say he’s hacked Reason and Ableton, some people say he’s a fucked up dude with wicked beats, some people say he looks like Diana Ross. Fact of the matter is he’s a humble dude with an exceptional amount of talent. What is one the more irritating of his idiosyncrasies is the fact that he’s only been doing it for 2 years. I mean, he played bass in guitar in bands previously but after his gentle and soft-spoken friend Raven Mack of Solaris Earth Pipeline approached him a couple years ago about working together and providing some beats for them, he pretty much has not looked back. While this is his most recent and most beloved by me, he has a slew of other work to check out at his blog. Sonically, he spends a lot of time sounding like a less pretentious Ninja Tune artist, but there are almost RZA-esque moments like on “Transmigration” or nearly boom bap tracks, “Potent Spirits” sprinkled throughout that make for a dynamic and interesting aural stroll. It’s also lovingly laced with some gnarly ass P.C.P. and a vile of liquid acid. Do yourself a favor, download this shit, burn it to a cd or stick it on your new fangled music toy and put on some headphones, spark one and dig it. Thou shall not be disappointed!
01 - Intro
02 - Birth, Space And Time
03 - Between The Keys
04 - Transmigration (Stranger)
05 - A Quick Reminder
06 - V-Sis
07 - Dreamland Happy Times For All
08 - Service Preperation
09 - Non Music
10 - Potent Spirits
11 - Opposing Drives
12 - Time (A. Not Just Madness B. Clarity C. Anaethetised)
13 - Outro


Saturday, March 22, 2008

where you been at kid?

Korg on a DS
And likely, I say "likely" because I don't like to disappoint, there will be a post tonight. Although I have the attention span of a

Saturday, February 9, 2008

February Is For Breaks: Ultimately Broke and Beaten

So it's been a minute but I've been steadily working on this other site. The first week went prety well. This week I'm not feeling the sample as much or rather, I've fucked with it so much that I want to kill that Italian fucker and the majority of it's family. But this is not about my limited ability to play around with sounds while simultaneously downloading huge amounts of porn I'll never have the time to watch. This is about the month of February which here at treebeats is for breaks. The original UBB was realeased on Street Beat Records in 86 and over the next 5 years 24 more were released to the delight and cheering of many a dj and producer. Most of it was "obscure" (digging hadn't really become the culture it is now yet) funk but there was also gems from Billy Squire and The Steve Miller Band. You kind of have to remember that a lot of cats that listened to hip hop hadn't ever heard of Steve Miller or his hippy band back then. You kind of have to remember actually that none of this stuff was obvious back then and made for a huge volume of music to fuck with. A lot of the breaks were already looped in the record making for easy juggling for your favorite DJ hooked up to a lightpost for power bringing in Debbie D to celebrate Ramo's new home and baby. It's a great place to begin to learn how to make beats and begin to dig. It's really fun just listening to it and trying to name as many people as possible that had sampled the song. Well, "fun" if your nerdy things like that.
Anyway, Here is volumes 1-25 in their entirety (except for 8 which I don't have the real version of) I made cute little folder pics and numbered them all because I'm retarded that way.


4 & 5

6 & 7

8 & 9

10 & 11

12 & 13

14 & 15

16 & 17

18 & 19

20 & 21

22 & 23

24 & 25

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January Is For Beats...Patrick Douthit, Peter Philips, & Chris Martin

So, there's one more day but I wanted to get the Class Is In Session thing out and big up a gimme. I can’t rustle much up on the “Class Is In Session” record. It was done around 2005. It was collaboration between 9th Wonder and Pete Rock. Grap Luva and Phonte were involved. The beats are dope. If anyone has some info on why it came about or any back-story, please let me know.
And Premier really is just that dude. I’m putting up The Question Remains instrumental. You’re probably like, “this beat isn’t a good example of Primo. I disagree. He took a two count from one of the more popular samples of the time and flipped it. He’s the king of finding things that can be looped infinitum and still sound fresh. He has the most widely recognizable scratching style in the world.
From GangStarr to Lord Finesse Jeru to Nas to Biggie. On and on and it’s all pretty consistent. That’s about 20 years of not sucking. That ain’t easy. There’s plenty more info on him, but you guys are hip to it. And I’m lazy.

01 - Whatever You Say (Remix I) (Feat. Little Brother)
02 - Whatever You Say (Remix II) (Feat. Little Brother)
03 - Am I Dreaming?
04 - Hi Baby (Instrumental)
05 - Watch Me (Instrumental)
06 - City Star Srut (Instrumental)
07 - Oh yeah (Feat. Phonte, Grap Luva, & Kevin Brown)
08 - Always (Feat. Kevin Brown)
09 - From The Basement (Feat. Phonte & Grap Luva)
10 - Funky (Instrumental)
11 - Night Cruise (Instrumental)
12 - Hello Tokyo (Instrumental)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On Some Ol Nex Shiznit...

So, shit has been crazy gearing up to launch my new project. And now, people, behold…

It’s going to be a weekly beat battle. Sample sources will be provided by the likes of
Mr Mass from Mass Corporation, Dr OK from And It Don't Stop, DJ Nes from Dirty Waters, or Scholar from Souled On. Then we have a bunch of talented cats, including yours truly, take the song and sample it and flip it any way they want over the next week. The beats are then posted and a Panel (including Travis from WYDU, Eric from WTR, Max from Hip Hop Isn't Dead, Mike Dikk from Dumpin.Net, Andrew from Strictly Beats and King E from the Justus League boards) will discuss what they liked and/or didn't like and Rank them. There is also a public vote which will be ranked and scored as well. The cat or kitten with the most points wins and can brag to all of there interweb friends about how they won and there friends will be like “OMFG. U’r fresh.” And the winner will be like, “ROTFLMAO” and their friends will be like “PIR. TTL” or something along those lines. Stop by if you feel like it or if you want to contribute.

Next up we have the video for Gnotes new single “Missing You”

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the video but conceptually I like what they did. I also like what Gnotes does a lot. (Also coming out soon on Gnawledge Records is Afro DZ ak's solo joint. I'm not familiar with his work but if it's from Gnawledge, it's got to be interesting.) It’s just the dude in the video doesn’t fit in my opinion. Not that I need some dude with a pimp cup smaking Buffy The Body’s freakishly rotund glutes, but the dude just seems out of place. But, there’s nothing wrong with taking risks unless you are jumping out of planes naked.So nothing to post. Again? Yes, again. I haven’t been able to post all the producers I wanted but I’ve been producing myself so there. I will post the 9th Wonder and Pete Rock “Class Is In Session” and some other stuff before the month of beats comes to an end. I’ve also decided to make February the month of breaks since I’ve been spending so much time thinking about it lately. Expect the Ultimate Breaks & Beats, The Dusty Fingers collection, The Super Breaks & Beats, and some others. Nothing too obscure because that’s mine, but there is a lot of stuff still flippable in what I’ll put up. Plus there is always a new batch of 9th Wonder wannabes who have yet to hear some of it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just A Few Things That Have Been Going Through My Head...

I saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo the other night. If you get a chance to see them, go. It’s a South African male acacpella group that has been around for 50 years. The layers and harmonies they come up with are fucking amazing and leave your jaw kind of loose when you watch them. You probably will recognize them from Paul Simon’s Graceland album but they have a huge body of work that is worth checking unless you are one dimesional and can’t listen to anything that is in another language. If that’s the case, you’ll probably prefer listening to American Gangster again. Watching them preform is almost like watching a martial art. They kick and squat and punch. It's really worth checking out. More recently, they were nominated for a few grammys. Really cool stuff that, sadly, was not included in my letter “L” listing (my one mistake).
Secondly, and completely unrelated, I saw “Cloverfield” and “I Am Legend” last weekend. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I haven’t been able to go to a flick since Transformers and before that since my boy was born, but they were both pretty good. Cloverfield is dope because the story is told completely by one handheld camera. Now, my dad said he felt nauseous watching it and some people may feel the same way (think Blair Witch Project) but it submerged you in the movie and was an awesome way to tell the story (sans the beginning plot set up, love triangle, pretty & rich Manhattan people that live in ridiculously nice lofts shit) Also the 2 main hotties in it are muy caliente. I thought Will Smith wasn’t bad in I am Legend either. I’m a sucker for most things “zombie” and except for an ending that was horrible it was a good watch.
Third, I am ironing out the details of a new venture that will include a lot of your favorite bloggers, a lot of talented cats and a lot of beats. Oooo. How excitingly covert. It has taken up some time for setting up and that’s why I haven’t posted any more beat nuts.(punny)
So, I’ll get another cat up either tonight or tomorrow for your continued aural ecstasy.Pace.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January Is For Beats: Joe Beats

Joeseph Beats (god given name) is straight out of the biggest little state in the union. He’s a sample based producer and here’s a tip for you aspiring producers that keep getting newer equipment and software to make your beats that much better. He uses SAWPro on a 333 MHz, 128MB RAM, Windows 98 computer. Now, I’ve never used SAWPro but I’ve used a lot of Cakewalk and some Cubase and no Pro Tools. My point is this, stop getting more and more shit. Pick something that you have and like learn the fuck out of it. Spend some time with it. Flirt. Play hard to get, whatever but learn that particular piece of software or hardware in and out. Then you can build on that. It will help you define your own sound. If it doesn’t do something that someone else does, then you should both stop trying to do what someone else does and also figure out a way to make it do that. 9th Wonder does his shit on Fruity Loops and Cool Edit Pro. Shadow did Endtroducing all on an MPC-60. Just learn some thing and define your sound. Yeah, so Joe Beats is really dope. Really moody and brooding type shit. His first release, Reverse Discourse came out in 2003 and he’s had 3 or 4 since then. I’m putting up Side 1 of the vinyl version of Diverse Recourse (2007) which has some tracks not on the CD. It’s way to recent for my liking to post, thus only one side (like that makes a difference but I’m inconsistent and irrational so sue me. Actually don’t sue me but hate me) but the shit is dope and I don’t think he gets nearly enough shine. But, I like it a lot and January is the month of beats. He’s also works with Sage Francis (another RI thug) as Non-Prophets. Good shit too. Feel the funk baby.
01 - Don't Front...
02 - Smart Dumb Person
03 - Me Talk Pretty
04 - Kiss Of Life
05 - Sleep Or Bust
06 - Strategery
07 - Friday Afternoon

Doin his thing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

January Is For Beats: Daniel Nakamura

Under the slick monniker "Nathaniel Merriweather" I bring you Mr. Wannabuyamonkey himself. Now, I’m a big fan of hip-hop that’s been slowed down and beats that are as well. The natural reverb comes out. The sound is thicker and murkier and fanfuckingtastic. Mr. Nakamura is a big fan of this stylee too as he has incorporated it into a lot of his work. Some people call it Trip-Hop but there are also some people that thought braided rat tails or having a Gumby was a good choice in hair style. Another thing he does well is incorporate some spaced out “Forbidden Planet” type sample shit that is campy without being over bearing or stupid. Again, this is the kind of shit I like because it just sounds good. A friend of mine is was a big fan of laughing going through a delay and no matter how enjoyable or infectious the laughter is originally, after it echoes over itself again and again it sounds maniacal and menacing. That has nothing to do with Dan but I'm just saying. He's very cinematic. Very big sounding. Along with the Dr Octagon project, which kind of blew him up, he has done a lot of remix work and has worked with a bunch of others on side projects. Most notably would be the Handsome Boy Modeling School and Loveage side projects (both of which I love and would marry if I could manifest them into a physical form or even just a pair of boobs.) What always makes someone stand out for me is they take risks musically and don’t basically rely on Ultimate Breaks and Beats volumes 1-25 for source material. A sense of humor doesn’t hurt either. The Bombay the Hard Way project was a perfect example of this. Maybe I’ll put that up as well if anyone cares. But it’s bollywood over hip-hop before it was cool and Punjabi MC and such were mainstream. Timbaland did it too but this is more my thing.
Side note: I won’t have a Timbaland day this month as there are way to many artists and too few days as it is. I like him and think he’s had an impressive career. He’s more pop than I am or listen to but has successfully defined what pop is several times over. That’s not easy and isn’t luck after the first few times. So that’s my piece on him.
Back to the Japanese dude, I’m upping the Dr. Octagon Instrumentalyst as it was really his first success and was a really dope release. Poppa Large was impressive as well. THis is more standard Hip-Hop fare and I say that only because it's around 90 BPMs. It still has that Automator feel but he uses more familiar breaks or drum kits.

Dr. Octagon - The Instrumentalyst

01 - Intro
02 - 3000
03 - I Got To Tell You
04 - Earth People
05 - No Awareness
06 - Raw Deal
07 - General Hospital
08 - Blue Flowers
09 - Technical Difficulties (Produced By Kut Masta Kurt)
10 - A Visit To The Gynecologyst
11 - Bear Witness
12 - Dr. Octagon (Produced By Kut Masta Kurt)
13 - Girl Let Me Touch You
14 - I'm Destructive
15 - Wild And Crazy
16 - Elective Surgery
17 - Halfsharkalligatorhalfman
18 - Blue Flowers Revisited
19 - Waiting List (DJ Shadow / Automator Mix)
20 - 1977

Handsome Boy Modeling School Promo Video

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Couple Of Things About This "Whatever Of The Month" Thing I'm Doing...

There is no order to what I'm talking about. These are all artists that I have enjoyed a great deal and while some of them are pretty obvious, cats like Ratatat, Joey Beats or Mr. Cooper don't get a lot of shine and I think some people might enjoy them. The fact that RZA is ahead of Pete Rock has nothing to do with me liking him better so if you are looking for a hierarchy, don't. There isn't any.
Second, there is no way on god's (the one true god) green earth I can put all of my favorites here. "30 days" or even "a month" sounds like a lot of time but then you start widdling away and during morning meeting 20 kids shout out that it's January 17th you're like "fuck" but not in front of the kids because then I'd get fired. But last night I wrote down the names of the producers or beat making bastards that I felt I had to post and the list was past 40... and I'm already halfway through the month. In a perfect world I'd post 2 or 3 artists a day and it would actually be interesting and informative. Welcome to my world bitches. I use commas too much. I think I'm funnier than anyone else seems to and I procrastinate a lot (exhibit A: I was going to write this last night but then I decided to sit a little bit longer.)
In closing,
If man is 5,
and the devil is 6,
Then god is 7.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January Is For Beats...Ewart & Walter Dewgarde

Da Beatminerz. A crew that became famous for using a filter on an Akai sampler. A friend of mine had the S950 back in the day. We were playing around with it and all of the sudden, with the aid of a low pass filter, we were Evil Dee and Mr. Walt. Not to slight the guys but their early sound was distinct for a reason. They did define the gritty dark sound that was the East Coast Street in the Mid 90’s. Really thick and fat loops de la Jazz variety, really compressed drums and bass lines that made you want to get on some old high school shit and start punching people in the face. Enta Da Stage blew my mind and I spent many hours writing rhymes to that record. I’d say that one and Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop were the cause of many pages of metaphysical blundering by me. Lots of “3rd eye”'s and “my mental” this and that. Anyway, they evolved. Got a few more cats in their click and released two joints showcasing their beats and the raw talent that began to blend all together and sound the same to me and a whole buncha remixes. That being said, I liked pretty much all of it up through O.G.C. then it got a bit monotonous. But those earlier releases were fucking huge for me and obviously a few others. I wish I had had this instrumental version (and the sassy cover I created on back then but then again I wouldn’t have left my house and probably would not have gotten up to eat or poop and would have been found dead emaciated and rotting in a sea of feces. And that probably wouldn’t have been worth it. They have since gone back down to the original two-brother combo and have continued to make bangers.


01 - Powaful Impak (Instrumental)
02 - Niguz Talk Shit (Instrumental)
03 - Who Got The Props (Evil Dee Mix Instrumental)
04 - Act Like U Want It (Instrumental)
05 - Buck Em Down (Instrumental)
06 - Black Smif N Wessun (Instrumental)
07 - Son Get Wrec (Instrumental)
08 - Make Munne (Instrumental)
09 - I Got Cha Opin (Remix Instrumental)
10 - Shit Iz Real (Instrumental)
11 - Enta Da Stage (Instrumental)
12 - How Many Mcs (Instrumental)
13 - U Da Man (Instrumental)
14 - Funk It Up (Instrumental)
15 - Murder Mc's (Instrumental)
16 - Reality (Killing Every) (Instrumental)
17 - Who Got The Props (Mw Smooth Mix Instrumental)

Siblings and a short guy in the studio.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January Is For Beats: Peter Phillips

I was just going to write “HORNS” for this but I figured I might as well actually write something. If you haven’t heard of Peter Phillips then you are reading this in some parallel universe where he turned out to be a mildly retarded elementary school janitor with a stuttering problem. There would also need to be some weird rip in the fabric of reality to allow this post to pass through unaltered. I’m assuming none of that is true so, needless to say, you’ve heard of the Chocolate Boy Wonder. I spent some time with “Mecca & The Soul Brother” this weekend and really enjoyed it again. I hadn’t listened to it for several years now but it still holds up and The Creator still says “what,” “yeah,” or “ow” at the end of each bar. CL has always been one of my favorite MC’s and the two of them made a classic record. But this is about Petey and his crates. The dude put little beats snippets in front of songs as if to say, “yeah, I could have used this but I have too many beats so check it out.” His use and abuse of Funk, Jazz & R&B was exceptional. The drum work on T.R.O.Y. is better than 99.999999999999999% of what comes out today. Still. That record came out nearly 20 years ago. By the way. Yes. You are now officially old. He made the horn riff a mainstay in hip-hop production and his chopping of samples, while not really as prominent on their debut developed and was mastered over the next few years. Also, when’s the last time an artists did all of their own remixes on a single. And speaking of remixes… He invented them! I mean after Puffy of course.
After the Main Ingredient, The Soul Brother #1 went on to do a lot of great work including the INI project, Soul Survivor and a slew of remix work. CL’s “American Me” was horribly disappointing. He’s still one of my favorite MC’s though. I’m putting up their Rare Tracks" release, which was stuff done between Mecca and Main Ingredient.
Enjoy. Pace.

01 - Searching (Remix)
02 - Take You There (Remix)
03 - Lots Of Lovin' (Remix)
04 - I Got A Love (Remix)
05 - It's Not A Game (Vocal)
06 - Mecca & The Soul Brother (Wig Out Mix)
07 - Creator (EP Mix - Vocal)
08 - Straighten It Out (Vocal Remix)
09 - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (Vibes Mix)
10 - Get On The Mic (Remix)

"Pete" rhymes with "beat"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January Is For Beats: Baobob Productions...

So, I couldn't find what I had initially intended to put up. However, as I went looking through boxes and crates I found a CD of beats I had put together in 96. It was all done on my trusty ASR-10 and was just before I really started chopping breaks up so beat wise it's pretty basic. It was mixed with a bunch of vocal samples from my favorite anime but that version is long gone. I was pretty excited to find this. It's kind of like looking in an old journal. I never really did anything with them so I figured I might as well let someone hear them. You got stuck with it. I had some cover art for it but that's long gone too. In other news: it looks like I'll have a snow day tomorrow so I'll make a proper post then.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Treebeats A To Z Posting Compilation Of Really Dope Things. The Letter N

In my mad intricate plot, I saved the second half of the alphabet for the dos mil ocho putas. An amazing year thus far with January “The Month Of Beats” progressing along quite nicely. Next month is either the month of “Breaks & Rare Grooves” or “Rapper Guys” I’m not sure yet and planning 3 weeks ahead seems a bit too ambitious. Anyway, here’s “N” Enjoy or don’t.
01 - Nancy Wilson & CannonBall Adderly - Save Your Love For Me
Ah Nancy Wilson. The babalicious song stylist with a remarkable voice to boot. This is off the record she did with the legendary Cannonball Adderly. Its just really good vocal jazz with Adderly making aural brass love. The whole record is great and I highly recommend it.
02 - Nas - It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Large Professor Remix)
Perhaps there are too many LP remixes on my list. I don’t care. There’s a reason for it. They’re dope. With a clever Biz sample this one just bangs. It loses the charm of the Human Nature version but was probably cheaper and legal-er to make. I know it’s obvious to say this album was big in one’s life but this one was. I actually met Nas when he had released this album as we had a mutual friend. He was doing a promo tour and did a show in Florida where I was living at the time. He came to my crib and we had a session and smoked Bidi’s and talked about beats. My homeboy had just bought a bunch of hash and we started smoking and drinking beers and got pretty fandangled. As the night progressed he became more comfortable and familiar and was less Nas and more Nasir and he started opening up a little. He went on about his difficult relationship with his dad and then out of nowhere, the dude starts crying. I mean literally weeping on my couch and I’m looking at my friend like “What the Fuck!?”
Actually none of that happened. And I would go on but got really bored with myself. Great track though.
03 - Naughty By Nature - Uptown Anthem
Before making Egypt with Pepa. Before his acting career with co-stars Peanuts Chocolate and Obsession (seriously? You’re telling me it’s not gay porn but his name was Peanuts Chocolate!) Naughty By Nature was doing well. And after their self-titled debut they did a little song on the Juice soundtrack that fucking owned me. I mean the whole thing with the piano in the beginning and then him coming in with, “Hey you can smoke a spliff...” and then continuing his rapid-fire delivery into shit no one ever really understands. Vinnie once again paled in comparison but still was fine. I don’t know how many times I watched this movie.
04 - Nellie McKay - The Big One
From the nearly never released second record from Ms. McKay we have “The Big One” After doing stand-up for a while Nellie started recording music. Her initial outings generated a lot of buzz and the bidding wars commenced to have the next big thing. After a label debacle I think she is now on her own label. She’s pretty hard to pin down genre-wise. She does have a great voice and smart lyrics. The song is about Harlem being Guliani-ized and how great that turned out for anyone not old, white and rich.
05 - The New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed
Honestly, the main reason this song is here is because Neko Case’s voice kicks ass and it was a two-fer. The song is pretty good too. People drool and babble about how Mass Romantic was such a better album and any real music fan would agree. I’m a surreal music fan, man. I burn incense and I am guided by the winds of change and the planets in the northern hemisphere.
06 - Nice & Smooth - Sometimes I rhyme Slow (Stay Faithful Remix)
There was a time where I dropped this beat behind everything else in my collection. And I would juggle it for hours much to my delight and any one else’s chagrin. I don’t know what it is about the beat, but Joshy likey!
07 - Nick Drake - Parasite
The sad case of a dude who was really talented and petrified of sharing his talent. A story that parallels the crippling sorrow that washed over America when Jonathan Knight came out and announced he had stage fright and the New Kids broke up. Nick Drake battled or rather was beaten down by depression up until he overdosed on antidepressants in 1974. He never was critically acclaimed in his lifetime and this certainly didn’t catapult him into extroversion. He was one of dudes that played guitar and sang quietly and would get his guitar ripped out of his hands and then have it smashed against the wall by William Zabka if he was in any 80’s film.
08 - Nightmares On Wax - Morse
I’m a lot more familiar with George Evelyn’s work from the 90’s a la “Smokers Delight” and “Carboot Soul” which was well produced down tempo hip-hop. This is off the latter. He had a lot of musicians and artists come in for the sessions and I heard that the show was pretty good. Another reason I like N.O.W. is he did an EP with De La. So, yeah dig the mellow vibe and spark an L.
09 - Nina Simone - Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair (Jaffa Remix)
So what if Eunice Kathleen Waymon looks like and sounds like a dude? So did MC Lyte but Ms Simone made more than 2 albums worth listening to. This song is from the Verve Remix series which are worth checking out if you like fat beats and Jazz. Her voice was unique and covered a lot of emotions effectively. A few cool facts about her. She recorded over 40 albums. She had Bi-Polar Disorder. She once shot a neighbor’s child for disrupting her concentration. Lauryn Hill does a spot on imitation of her defecating on a microphone. Nuff said.
10 - Nine - Wutcha Want (Portishead Remix)
Nine was that dude that sounded like he was in the midst of swallowing a bag of gravel and then decided he rhyme as well. Kind of like that guy who drinks a glass of water while his Mannequin sings The Star Spangled Banner. But different and iller. This is the Portishead remix. Speaking of Portishead, when asked about rumors as to whether or not they would be working with Danger Mouse on their new effort Mr. Barrows replied, “I’d rather poo in my mum’s Sunday roast than have Danger Mouse produce a Portishead record. No offense.” None taken sir. Well played.
11 - Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Upon further introspection, I was never really a Trent fan. I like a couple of tracks off of this record and the only track of his I liked a lot was off of the Mulholland Drive soundtrack which featured hot chicks naked and making out and the standard “I’m the only person who actually knows what’s going on but I have know clue what that actually is” plot by David Lynch. So, I should have posted that song but I didn’t and don’t feel like going back now. In closing, I only put this here because I like what he did conceptually, pushing boundaries and expanding his audience’s tastes but I didn’t really like it.
12 - Nirvana - Lithium
I wasn’t ready for this band when they came out. I was too submerged in making beats and writing rhymes to accept anything that wasn’t sequenced. I grew up. I’m also glad I wasn’t on the Nirvana bandwagon because they would have been ruined for me by over exposure. Now I can come from the future and freak that futuristic George Jetson robotic type shit and appreciated it without millions of depressed and pseudo depressed kids having candlelight vigils and crying over him going out with his grey matter splattered against the closet wall. I think that was gangster.
13 - The Notorius B.I.G. - Gimme The Loot
Okay here it goes. I don’t think Biggie was the greatest rapper of all time. Now that everyone has left the room I shall continue. He was obviously great but he recorded 2 records. Only one of them was great. The second one was not. Sorry. And his style was ill but he recycled lyrics all the time. I’m not saying others don’t but I guarantee the greatest of all time won’t. I was a much bigger early Biggie fan. I liked his cameos. “Party & Bullshit” is my favorite song of his, period. True Story, this is kind of where that Nas story came from BTW. Me and a bunch of my friends went to Jack The Rapper in Florida while I was living there. We broke 2 ounces into nicks and dimes and sold it and tried to network. We sold a lot, smoked a lot but networked nil. Anyway, I was taking a break and taking in the scene for a minute when Big and some stromie of his stand right next to me. This was after Party & Bullshit but before he was huge (as a star I mean. He was still quite fat) So I’m doing my best to not look over at him and be like “Hey I think your really groovy sir, and on behalf of all white people to all black people, “I’m sorry” can we be friends?” But apparently Big Poppa had had too much to drink and was having trouble balancing his girth and maintaining a vertical stance. His buddy says he’s going to look for someone and he starts whining, “Nah man. Don’t leave me man.” Like really pitifully. It was horrifying. I felt awkward and uncomfortable and walked away and we never crossed paths again.
14 - The Nonce - Mix Tapes
Did you know “nonce” means “pedophile” in the Queens’ English? I didn’t. It means, “present time” in Real English. It means “a rap group form the mid 90’s that had 2 MC’s, one of which died” in Ebonics. It’s one of those slept on records that people go on and on about so I won’t but if you haven’t checked out “World Ultimate” then do so. It’s a good example of what good hip-hop from the West Coast sounded like. Less posturing and more postulating. And the “mix tapes” referred to in this song are the kind that don’t suck.
15 - Nuyorican Soul - Jazzy Jeff’s Theme
A really interesting project that came out in the late 90’s that was the brainchild Of Kenny Dope and Little Louie Vega. This one features Jazzy Jeff which I don’t think one can get enough of. Well that’s not true but it’s a dope track. The rest of the release was a combination of Jazz, Latin, R&B, and Hip-Hop that all blended really well. Certainly worth a listen if you’ve never checked it out.
16 - N.W.A. - Gangsta Gangsta (Aphrodite Remix)
Aphrodite on the remix. Not much like the original but maybe some of you haven’t heard it yet so I wanted to break you off something proper like. If you don’t know Aphrodite, he was instrumental in making Drum & Bass a big thing (I use “big” as a relative term) this comes off of a CD called Urban Jungle where he remixes a couple other rapper guys like Jeru and The Luniz. You’ll also find the Vinyl Syndicate’s "Man Of Steel" which always gets me open and should absolutely be checked out.


01 - Nancy Wilson & CannonBall Adderly - Save Your Love For Me
02 - Nas - It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Large Professor Remix)
03 - Naughty By Nature - Uptown Anthem
04 - Nellie McKay - The Big One
05 - The New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed
06 - Nice & Smooth - Sometimes I rhyme Slow (Stay Faithful Remix)
07 - Nick Drake - Parasite
08 - Nightmares On Wax - Morse
09 - Nina Simone - Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair (Jaffa Remix)
10 - Nine - Wutcha Want (Portishead Remix)
11 - Nine Inch Nails - Closer
12 - Nirvana - Lithium
13 - The Notorius B.I.G. - Gimme The Loot
14 - The Nonce - Mix Tapes
15 - Nuyorican Soul - Jazzy Jeff’s Theme
16 - N.W.A. - Gangsta Gangsta (Aphrodite Remix)
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